Where are you moms? I know you know what it’s like to be guilt tripped by your kids. It’s their most lethal attack. My oldest daughter is a Stage 5 guilt tripper. She has perfected the art of guilt. It takes all my adult logic not to succumb to her adorable face. She doesn’t guilt trip me for candy, toys or trips. (She knows she will never win that one.) She guilt trips me for my time and that is one thing I have a hard time fighting her on.
I have been a strictly stay-at-home mom. I have been a work outside the home 40+ hours a week mom. I am now a work from home mom. I started a business while on maternity leave with my second daughter and have been able to make it my full-time job. I love being able to work at home and spend time with my girls. I love that they can help me with my work. It’s been a huge blessing. It has also been a huge struggle with my beautiful guilt tripping daughter.
It is very hard to balance my girls’ wanting to play with mommy and mommy needing to get work done. So I have set up a schedule. Mornings are dedicated to my girls. I play with them. I read to them. I do “school” with my oldest. We go on trips to the park or to friend’s houses. You get the idea. We all eat lunch together, and then my youngest goes down for a nap. Once she is down for a nap, I usually do more intensive “school” with my oldest. (We are homeschooling and we are doing pre-k/kindergarten work.) After “school,” I work. I can usually get a solid hour of work done before my youngest wakes up. This is where the guilt tripping begins.
Even though the daily routine stays the same for the most part, me working always comes as a shock to my oldest. I can even tell her I will be working that afternoon, and she is still shocked when I begin working.
These are some of my favorite quotes she has used to try to sway my work ethic:
“Mommy, you never spend time with me.”
“Mommy, you don’t love me.”
“Mommy, I don’t love you.”
“Mommy, I don’t have anyone to play with.”
“Mommy, you are always working.”
“You’re not my mommy anymore because you won’t play with me.”
“Mommy, you’re not a nice person.”
“When I grow up I’m not going to be like you. I’m going to be a good mommy who plays with her kids.”
Yep she is lethal. I thought I at least had until the teen years before most of those came out of her mouth. Didn’t expect them at 4 years old. Not going to lie… Some of those I have cried about later when I am alone.
When she starts spouting off like this its is hard for me to keep my cool, not get emotional, and not give in and spend more time with her. After all, I had just spent all morning and part of the afternoon with her. I have to work at some point.
This is when I pull on my big girl panties and have a very real conversation with my daughter.
“Aubrey, it is not nice of you to say those things to mommy. It hurts my feelings when you say that to me. I just spent all morning playing with you and your sister. I have spent part of the afternoon doing school with you. Mommy has to get some work done now. Do you remember when mommy worked away from home all the time?” (She shakes her head yes.) “Remember how you would cry when mommy would leave in the morning?” (Shakes her head yes again.) “Do you want mommy to work like that again?” (Shakes her head no.) “Then you need to let mommy get work done at home. If I can’t work at home then I am going to have to work away from home. Which one would you like more? Me be able to work from home and spend more time with you and your sister or for me to work away from home and not see you as much?” (She responds with work from home.) “Then entertain yourself or you can help me while I work, but I have to work.”
This conversation still happens on almost a weekly basis. It is a battle I have gotten more used to so my skin has gotten thicker. I have scolded her though for being mean to me which for the most part she has stopped the really mean comments.
I can honestly say the only thing Aubrey really fights me on is working. It is a work in progress. I hope one day it isn’t as much of a struggle and that she better understands what I am trying to do for our family.
No matter what “work” status you are as a mom, it is always a struggle to try to manage your time accordingly. You want to give your children all your love and attention but there are other things that must be done. You have to clean your house, make meals, show your spouse attention, and make time for yourself. You have to try to stay well-rounded which is the hardest part. But that is the most important part.
My children are very important to me, but it is also important to me that I spend quality time with my husband. It is important to me to bring in an income. It is important to me that I give back to a community that has given so much to me so I joined Junior Service League of Brooksville (which is very kid friendly and allows me to bring Aubrey to events.) It is important to me that I show my girls that you can be a well-rounded individual.
To all you moms out there saying “I know exactly what you are talking about!” stay strong ladies. Do what you know is right for your family. It may not always be the easiest or the most popular choice but you know what is right. You set the example for your children. They are watching you and they understand you.